Glossary of Defense Contracting Terms (S)

This Glossary provides you with the most frequently used terms in government and military base contracting. Familiarity with the language of government contracting is essential for doing business with the Department of Defense (DoD) and working with contracting offices at military bases and DoD agencies.  You may also find it helpful to use our master list of Acronyms frequently used in DoD contracting.


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View ACRONYMS used in Defense Contracting


SEALED BIDDING   A method of contracting that employs competitive bids, public bid opening, and awards. Award is made to that responsible bidder whose bid, conforming to the invitation for bids, will be most advantageous to the Government consider only price and price-related factors included in the invitation.

SERVICE-DISABLED VETERAN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESS (SDVOSB):    A small business is smaller than a given size as measured by its employment, business receipts, or business assets—that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more individuals who are service-disabled veterans.

SET-ASIDE   A small business “set-aside" is the reserving of an acquisition exclusively for participation by small business concerns, as governed by FAR Part 19.

SIMPLIFIED ACQUISITION THRESHOLD     The simplified acquisition threshold (SAT) is $150,000. The SAT is the threshold used for SAP contracts. The SAT can vary depending on the particular acquisition situation.

SINGLE AWARD TASK ORDER CONTRACT (SATOC)     A purchasing mechanism used by DOD agencies as a form of solicitation requesting proposals from contractors / vendors. Only one awardee will be chosen. The awardee then is the sole provider of services as tasks orders are issued. SATOC's are usually awarded for multi years with a cap award amount.

SITE VISIT   Offerors or quoters are urged and expected to inspect the site where services are to be performed and to satisfy themselves regarding all general and local conditions that may affect the cost of contract performance, to the extent that the information is reasonably obtainable.

SIZE STANDARD   A maximum level of average employment or annual revenue at which a firm can qualify as a small business.

SMALL DISADVANTAGED BUSINESS (SDB)     A designated small business that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged.

SOLE SOURCE    A contract for the purchase of supplies or services that is entered into or proposed to be entered into by an agency after soliciting and negotiating with only one source.

SOLICITATION    A document sent to prospective contractors by a Government agency requesting submission of an offer, quote, or information.

SOURCE SELECTION    The process of identifying which offeror(s) will receive a contract in a competitive negotiated acquisition.

STANDARD INDUSTRIAL CLASSIFICATION (SIC)   A code published by the Government in the Standard Industrial Classification Manual. These codes classify and define activities by industry categories and is the source used by the Small Business Administration as a guide in defining industries for small business size standards.

STOP WORK ORDER    Under a negotiated fixed-price supply, cost-reimbursement supply, research and development, or service contract, a contract clause permits the Contracting Officer to order the contractor to stop work, if a work stoppage is required for reasons such as advancement in the state-of-the-art, production or engineering breakthroughs, or realignment of programs.

SUBCONTRACTOR    Any person, other than the prime contractor, who offers to furnish or furnishes any supplies, materials, equipment, or services of any kind under a prime contract or a subcontract entered into in connection with such prime contract. The term includes any person who offers to furnish or furnishes general supplies to the prime contractor or a higher tier subcontractor.

SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT (SME)   An individual possessing the prerequisite knowledge skills and abilities demonstrating competence in a field of endeavor.

SURETY    An individual or corporation legally liable for the debt, default, or failure of a principal to satisfy a contractual obligation.

SYNOPSIS   A notice of a proposed contract action exceeding $25,000 furnished by an agency for publication in the Commerce Business Daily as required by the Small Business Act.   


Pentagon Spokesman Department of Defense (DoD)

Guidance for Doing Business with Military Bases